Unmade by Sarah Rees Brennan


 Title: Unmade

 Series: The Lynburn Legacy (#3)

 Author: Sarah Rees Brennan

 Genre: fantasy, YA

 Rating: ★★★½

 In short: as wonderfully written as usual, bursts of humour, but unfortunately fell short 😦

Spoilers for the first two books in the series!

Goodreads: Kami has lost the boy she loves, is tied to a boy she does not, and faces an enemy more powerful than ever before. With Jared missing for months and presumed dead, Kami must rely on her new magical link with Ash for the strength to face the evil spreading through her town.

Rob Lynburn is now the master of Sorry-in-the-Vale, and he demands a death. Kami will use every tool at her disposal to stop him. Together with Rusty, Angela, and Holly, she uncovers a secret that might be the key to saving the town. But with knowledge comes responsibility—and a painful choice. A choice that will risk not only Kami’s life, but also the lives of those she loves most.

This final book in the Lynburn Legacy is a wild, entertaining ride from beginning to shocking end.

Okay, so let’s first establish that I had really really high hopes for this book. SRB is one of my favourite authors—she’s witty, she’s brilliant, and I love this series with all my heart.

But. But. This one kind of fell short.

Unmade isn’t a bad book by any measure. I guess the combination of my high expectations, the whole last-book thing, and my super-fast reading made everything seem rather anticlimactic. But we’ll get to that.

From where we left off at the end of Untold, Rob Lynburn has suppressed the people of Sorry-in-the-Vale and rules over them now as creepy evil overlord. Jared is trapped in Aurimere House with him and his nefarious sorcerers after rescuing Kami’s brother Ten from Rob’s clutches. The rest of the gang must plot to rescue Jared and free the town, but it’s not quite so simple. Rob has far more power than any of them, which means Kami—still uncomfortably linked to Ash—must look for a way to save everyone while protecting the people she loves.

Let’s start with what I did like about this book. The characters were, as usual, both hilarious and heartbreaking. SRB is excellent with her friendships and family dynamics and I’m glad Unmade didn’t fall short on that account.

Heartbreak is something that comes with every one of her books, and that didn’t fail me either. I cried ridiculously at certain parts. Certain. Ahem.

The plot wasn’t even subpar. The problem was the intensity. I’d been anticipating reading this for days (while I read Dreams of Gods & Monsters—more on that soon) and ironically, I said to myself multiple times that I loved how SRB could be so funny and not sacrifice the intensity of her storyline. But that’s exactly what happened here. Not because of humour, nor the writing. Somehow, the seriousness of the story fell flat. The stakes were pretty damn high but the book just didn’t give that feel, it didn’t actually put that pressure on the reader. Tragic things did happen, and they did evoke the right reaction from me, but looking back I wondered why they had happened. What is the point of choices and sacrifices—which really form the underlying themes of hundreds of YA books—if the necessity of those sacrifices aren’t felt? Without that pressure death and tragedy just seem (and I hate to put it this way) like they’re put there for cheap shock value. That was disappointing, because I know SRB is better than that.

The final battle scene too suffered from lack of intensity, which really sucked because I loved the description. It was beautiful, but that beauty made it feel abstract, more like a dream than an epic finale. It lost its punch.

Now this is a flaw that makes me especially sad. The end for Kami and Jared (I won’t say what kind) completely left me lost. Huh? How? What? I guess in some sense it’s because I expected better development for Jared through this book, and that development seemed rushed and towards the end.

All in all, though, I still really liked this book. I just wish that like wasn’t coloured with disappointment and could-have-beens.


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